NKDF Society chair Mike Robertson said, "It has been an exciting year for the NKDF and we are pleased to have supported so many diverse projects in our investment area. We feel NKDF mandate has been truly represented in 19 projects that have contributed to the betterment of our communities and help strengthen the positive economic development climate that exists today."
Kitamaat Village was able to analyze the feasibility of an RV Park, as well as instituting water testing to open the door for a potential shellfish business development. Vanderhoof will benefit with the acquisition of new community signage, Memorial Arena dressing rooms, seniors housing and an operating room enhancement for the hospital.
Burns Lake will receive contributions toward an Arts Festival, Memorial Arena upgrade, mountain bike trails and a feasibility study for an airport terminal building. The Southside area contributions enabled the community to host the Homesteader's Centennial celebration and will help with improvements to a new Southside Economic Development Centre.
"The investments the NKDFS has made in communities in my riding have been greatly appreciated by the people who live and work in here," said Prince George-Omineca MLA John Rustad. "I'm pleased that the funding our government invested towards this fund is paying off in a big way for the residents of the northwest."
"The funding being allocated to Burns Lake will help to improve recreational facilities in the village, the improvements to the arena and bike trails, as well as the Arts Festival, will be enjoyed by many of my constituents," said Dennis MacKAY, Bulkley Valley-Stikine MLA. "The people in the Southside area will benefit from the new Southside Economic Development Centre and the opportunity to host the Homesteader's Centennial celebration."
Paul Henning, Alcan's Director of Operations for British Columbia is satisfied by the extent and diversity of projects that the NKDFS is able to fund. "It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to know that Alcan's $7.5 million contribution to the Fund is being put to economic and capacity development use in our northern communities".
The Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society was jointly established in 1997 with a combined contribution of $15 million by the government of British Columbia and Alcan Inc. The Fund's investment area includes lands impacted by the original Kemano project and focuses on those communities in the Nechako and Haisla regions of the north.
The Society encourages applications from local governments and legally incorporated non-profit organizations. NKDF invests in projects that create sustainable employment, diversify the economy, and improve the basic infrastructure needed for community stability, quality of life and growth.
The Government of B.C. and Alcan Inc. each contributed $7.5 million to establish the Northern Development Fund in 1999. The investment income generated from this fund supports the NKDF grants program. Each partner has one representative serving on the board of directors. The NKDF is part of the portfolio of the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.
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